Meet the new Brookman Music Scholar

Date Published: 24.11.2023

What is the Brookman Music Scholar? What do they do? Olivia Gallup, our new Music Scholar answers these questions and more!

What’s your favourite thing about Wadham?

I was not expecting the grounds to be so nice! I didn’t visit Oxford before I came here so that was a nice surprise. Besides that, the fellow grads that I’ve met are really cool. In my first year, I lived with people in the offsite graduate accommodation. And after that, five of us shared a house together - a big Wadham house!

What made you want to be the Brookman Music Scholar?

I was quite involved in the music scene the last two years, and my friend Patrick was the previous music scholar. So I got to see what ‘powers’ he had and the kinds of events that he could do. Part of that was managing the Bands Room, which is a practice space with loads of instruments.

I was part of two bands at the time and saw how useful the Bands Room was. It made me think: there should be more music stuff going on here! And then I saw the scholarship was open.

Tell us more about these ‘powers!’ What is the role of the Brookman Scholar?

Aside from managing the Bands Room, the main historic directive of the Brookman Music Scholar is to bring together the community through music. To that end, the Scholar is always on the Music Society Committee in some capacity. And with it being an officially recognised role, I can approach the College with some authority when proposing ideas! There’s also some funding attached to the role, which can be put towards musical projects. Though I guess I’m still figuring out exactly what I can do!

What would you like to do for musical life at Wadham?

The way the music scene at Oxford works is that at the beginning of the year, all the bands that exist have auditions, and then if you don't get into any of those, you don't really have anywhere to go. So I definitely want to do more events that are casual, where people that are not already in a band can come and just feel at ease playing and feel welcome to try something out.

The recent DJ event was an example of that kind of thing. I’d like to do the same thing for other areas of music that aren't already represented in some way.

Is there a particular area of music you’re passionate about?

I guess I'm always a little biased towards jazz!

Tell us more about your musical background.

When I was in high school there was this music competition that was kind of taking place in a different city every year, and they required you to audition. It was this big symphonic band.

I got to go to the competition every year, and it was this environment where I had to make friends that were not in my city.

I learned the power of connecting through music in that way, how it really can be such a great way to meet people. It’s a really fun thing where you can be in some kind of organized setting, or you can just meet up with random people and play.

What bands are you currently active in?

I'm in this kind of jazz quintet. You don't have a name yet, but we're putting some on performances later this year!

Finally, what’s something you’re listening to at the moment that we should check out?

I’d been enjoying the Carnatic jazz singer, Ganavya – particularly her cover of La Vie En Rose. Give it a spin!

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